Greetings, Queer Vegan Food readers! Today, I am excited to bring you a guest post and recipe from my friend Rande of the The Vegetable Centric Kitchen! Rande is amazing, and a queer vegan foodist to the core. I love her inspiring post and gorgeous recipe! Please enjoy…
Guest Post: Coming Alive With Vegetables
By Rande From The Vegetable Centric Kitchen
I have a passionate obsession with vegetables. Anyone who knows me or reads my blog is aware of this. There is, however, much more to it than a simple love of the green stuff. For me, choosing to eat a plant-based diet goes beyond achieving a certain aesthetic (eat raw! get the glow!) or being super pure, clean or “good” at your diet.
I spent my childhood and teenage years being “good”–going to church, following the rules, trying not to question things that didn’t feel right. I was also struggling horribly with depression, self-hatred and abuse, disordered eating patterns, doubt surrounding the religion I was immersed in, shame around my sexuality, and confusion about life in general. I was, for several years, a “junk-food vegan,” tossing back anything with abandon so long as it held the sacred “vegan” label. It wasn’t until I discovered the power of a plant-based diet filled with green juices and kale salads that I really started to wake up to the power of food to affect my mental clarity what my experience of being alive could be like.
It wasn’t until I discovered the power of a plant-based diet filled with green juices and kale salads that I really started to wake up to the power of food to affect my mental clarity what my experience of being alive could be like.
I’m certainly not saying food is the be-all-end-all. We all know that taking care of your emotional, mental, and spiritual health is JUST as important. Food, however, was the game-changer for me. A high-greens and raw food diet along with juicing and colon cleansing (so key) have been absolutely life-transforming. This way of living has more easily enabled me to remove things that were blocking me from being myself.
As physical barriers are removed, emotional and spiritual things have become much easier to address as well. I’m much more easily able to tap into myself and know what’s best for me instead of referring to a rule book or religion. In the last few years I’ve gone from confused, secretive, and terribly unhappy with my body to clear, open, and loving (most days) what I’ve got. I’m certainly far from perfect, but I’m immensely enjoying the journey.
I often look around me and I see where “normal” living and thinking gets people in our society. It seems to be considered the norm to be depressed, overweight, caffeine-and-sugar addicted, hating our jobs, and dreading getting older. I’m not particularly interested in any of that. I’m not interested in being afraid of life. I’ve made it my purpose to continue getting to know myself, and remaining connected to my heart. Back when I was completely clueless about who I was (or maybe just terrified of it) I was accustomed to following along with the group, not making waves, and keeping myself stimulated with processed foods and soy-latte’s to get by.
When I was eventually able to let go of those things, I also felt like there was enough space in my head to be able to mentally step back and take a look at my actions and beliefs. Eating cleaner has helped tremendously in being more present in my life. I want more than anything to be completely and fully myself, and I wish the same thing for everyone else. How anyone manages to get by on cheeseburgers is beyond me but we’re all on our own path. Whether you tap into yourself by cleansing your body or you dive head-first into a great meditation practice (or better, both!) It’s up to you. I can’t think of anything sweeter than being awake and in touch with yourself and your body, however you feel drawn to do it.
Rande’s recipe: vegan “bacon” wrapped around delectable chunks of roasted sweet potato!
Vegan “Bacon” By Rande of the Vegetable Centric Kitchen
1 sweet potato
maple syrup (or stevia and maple extract)
1/2 an eggplant
coconut oil spray
Preheat oven to 425. Thinly slice eggplant (about 1/8 inch thick) and cut each slice into 2-4 strips. Place strips in a bowl, spray with coconut oil, and drizzle with nama shoyu and liquid smoke. Let marinate while you chop sweet potato into chunks. Spritz with coconut oil and drizzle with maple syrup (or for a no-sugar option, stevia and maple extract).
Place eggplant slices on a baking tray in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes.
When everything is cooked and cooled, wrap sweet potato chunks with eggplant (“bacon”) slices and slide a toothpick through each piece.
Thanks for reading Rande’s post and recipe!